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GRAPHISOFT Dramatically Reshaping the Power of BIM—The New Grasshopper-ARCHICAD Live Connection 2.0

RGA stands for Rhino-Grasshopper-ARCHICAD and the new RGA  toolkit offers a dramatic advance with the new GS-AC Live Connection v2.


GRAPHISOFT’s Grasshopper – ARCHICAD Live Connection has been advanced to version 2, says the BIM software developer. The latest release is a significant update.

The industry-first by GRAPHISOFT is a bi-directional “live” connection that allows Rhino and Grasshopper users to connect to a leading BIM software package on both the Mac and Windows operating systems.

Connecting Algorithmic Design to BIM

“Working with the GRAPHISOFT team on an integral solution for architects who want the best from BIM and algorithmic design has been a pleasure. The integration of Grasshopper and ARCHICAD opens a totally new world of possibilities, in terms of design, form-finding, optimization, and management of complex projects,” said Carlos Perez, EMEA Sales, Marketing and Business Development, McNeel Europe.

01 – Grasshopper – ARCHICAD Live Connection is now at version 2.0 with new Deconstruct function.

The Rhino – Grasshopper – ARCHICAD (RGA) connections enable architects to take advantage of three powerful software environments, filling a gap in the design process at the earliest stages. Algorithmic design workflows in Rhino + Grasshopper offer leading-edge capabilities backed behind the largest community of algorithmic design enthusiasts and critical third-party developers advancing the Grasshopper development platform.

New Deconstruct Function—Other Advances

The latest 2.0 release of RGA dramatically opens up new levels of intelligent workflows for ARCHICAD users and Rhino + Grasshopper users in architecture, alike. The new “Deconstruct” function lets architects use their BIM models as a kind of building apparatus or “backbone” for their design; using the RGA architects add algorithmic design logic to Grasshopper that then later can drive complete changes to building elements (floors, roofs, walls, openings, etc).


The Deconstruct function in the Grasshopper-ARCHICAD live connection made it possible for us to reconstruct the BIM models of the buildings of Grisciano, Italy, by acting as a bridge between the models and the conceptual design.


To demonstrate how this works a simple example video is available here below, where the complete construct of the RGA 2.0 and its Deconstruct function are shown.

Fundamentally, this process enables designers and architects to establish basic design logic in BIM (in AC), such as the base geometry of the building, and extend that with intelligent design details that can both come later but more importantly follow changes in the core design.

02 -GRAPHISOFT’s new Deconstruct function in RGA 2.0 offers powerful possibilities in the ARCHICAD BIM workflow tapping the power of Rhino + Grasshopper. 

“The Deconstruct function in the Grasshopper-ARCHICAD live connection made it possible for us to reconstruct the BIM models of the buildings of Grisciano, Italy, by acting as a bridge between the models and the conceptual design,” said project architects Michele Calvano and Mario Sacco.

Grasshopper—A New GDL Object Production Factory

A second major feature in the version 2.0 update to RGA connection is the ability to use Grasshopper to create custom GDL Objects and then instantly place them in their ARCHICAD project.

The newly-created library parts will be placed in ARCHICAD’s Embedded Project Library and all future design changes made in Grasshopper will be instantly carried through the ARCHICAD project as well.

To learn more about RGA and the Grasshopper-ARCHICAD Live Connection, please visit:

Architosh Analysis and Commentary

In discussion with Patric May, a GDL scripter and presenter at the 2017 BIMCON event this past year in Las Vegas, he noted that not a lot of folks in architecture get into scripting GDL objects because it’s kind of hard. His session, however, was packed with people and he was surprised.

MORE: Interview—Patrick May Talks About His Journey with ARCHICAD and GDL Scripting

The new ability to craft GDL objects in Grasshopper appears to address May’s comments a tiny bit; we have long heard AC users note that the GDL authoring environment wasn’t as easy as it could possibly be. Is it possible that an algorithmic environment, node-based and all, could be easier? 

Architects are right-brained creatures in general, not wired like the left-brained software programmer or mathematician types. But this can change in the near future. Architect scientists do exist, like Neri Oxman at MIT, whose compelling work bears witness to one compelling question. Traditionally architects are artistic people trained in sciences, should the field of architecture reverse this and train scientific people to be artists? 

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